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What is Canvas for Parents?

Canvas is Shakopee's adopted Learning Management System. It is used by teachers to deliver materials to students, take quizzes, participate in discussion boards, and collect digital work from students. It is primarily used at secondary (6th-12th grade) but there are some elementary classes using it as well. 

Parents can sign up to become "Observers" of their students in Canvas in order to see course materials, feedback given to students on assignments, and view a calendar that shows assignments and due dates for all of their classes. Only parents of 6th-12th grade should sign up for Observer accounts.

Why is this a great tool? 

Canvas is a very powerful and flexible tool for teachers to deliver instruction to students. With all students 6th-12th having their own device to use, it is essential for workflow of files and resources. Canvas gives parents a window into the classroom so they can see the work of their students and help support them with due dates via the calendar. Here's a video with more information about the Canvas Parent mobile app.

How do I use it?

To sign up as a parent on a computer, follow the directions below. If you would prefer to use Canvas on a smartphone, iOS and Android directions are available. You can download the Canvas Parent app on the Apple App Store or Google Play

Go to on a desktop computer and click on “Parent of a Canvas User? Click Here For an Account” in the upper right corner.

On the next screen, enter your name and your email address. Then enter your child’s pairing code. Students can create a pairing code to give to their parents by following these directions or you can email with your name, your student’s name, Student ID and ask for a Canvas pairing code. Once you have your pairing code, agree to the terms and click "Start Participating."

After clicking on Start Participating, you will land on your Canvas home page. There are 4 areas of interest for this page, as shown in the picture below.

  1. Settings: You can customize your notification preferences, among other things, in your personal settings. Your settings are always available from any Canvas page in the upper left-hand corner if you click Account. Then click on Notifications. Once in Notifications, you can change how often you are notified about aspects of your children’s courses. Hover over notification box to change their frequency.

     2. Courses: This is where you view all of the individual courses for your child.

     3. Calendar: The Calendar shows a view of all course due dates, including ungraded updates of in class work.

     4. Coming Up: This is a notification center for a quick view of upcoming items and events.

If you have multiple students in the district, you can observe all of their Canvas activity in one account. To add more observees, click on “Account” along the left hand side of the screen, then click on Observing.

From there, you can add other students to observe using their pairing code. Once you are set as an observer for all of your children, you will automatically have access to each course that each child is enrolled in as well as be able to access all their Canvas grades by clicking the Grades button along the top of your screen.